Tag Archives: Valentine’s Day

Some legit reasons men just won’t commit

This is the season for many to become serious about relationships, and Valentine’s Day is one of the most high-pressure days for men in the Western World. Ladies, it’s easy to become annoyed and frustrated with your man when he refuses to commit, but there are often some valid reasons for his cold feet. While I am not a relationship expert, counselor, or qualified professional, here are some legitimate laypersons reasons as to why men are not prepared to commit to a serious relationship.

What Have I DoneOnce bitten, twice shy: when a man is deeply wounded in a previous relationship, scars exist. Even if there’s been a so-called “rebound,” it’s not uncommon for a man to want to take his time, or even never fully commit. While most who have come out of a damaging relationship or brutal breakup are encouraged to take some time to themselves, the desire to jump back in to avoid the “lonely bug” can be too great to resist, but with that comes a fear of repeating past mistakes.  This is especially true of relationships where one or both sides were abusive.  Healing time is needed.

kate-winslet-ned-kiss-zA torch still ablaze: guys, we’ve all been there – that woman we once had the strongest feelings on earth for, be it a friend or lover, and then our hopes are dashed. That one “who got away” is the stuff of best-selling love songs.  We try to get past her to move on to someone better.  Still, the fire smolders, waiting for any perceived breath of fresh of air to rekindle it anew, and set our hearts ablaze yet again.  Teensy problem with that; we meet a truly wonderful and committed woman, and that particular little fire still burning in our hearts needs a different fuel for combustion. Until that fire is put out, a new flame cannot hope to burn steady and bright.  The man in your life needs time to put the past behind him, and sometimes a “walkabout” of sorts is needed.

Bachelorhood just feels good: for many men, being single is a great thing. After all, there is nearly zero accountability, zero need to change and almost no risk. By jumping into a committed relationship, the notion of having to actually work with someone, compromise and change oneself for the better ensues. That’s scary enough, but combine that with the idea of children, pets or meeting family, and it feels like a sensory overload most men just are not ready for.  Time won’t cure this one; only maturation will.

yellingUnreasonable expectations: ladies, here’s where it gets unpopular. It’s very easy for women to decide they want a commitment from a man who is, honestly, just doesn’t want it. It could be any number of reasons, but the fact is some men just around ready for commitment, and some never will be. The worst situation of all are men who commit for the wrong reasons, such as custody of children or financial reasons. These almost always devolve into explosive and dangerous breakups.  Communicating expectations is key here, but even the most thorough communication may result in an ending.

Ultimatums: Any self-respecting man, or woman for that matter, will walk away from an ultimatum to be committed. If you tell your beloved “if you won’t commit, I’m out,” you should expect to be alone, period. To give any significant other an ultimatum to commit can be regarded as holding someone hostage emotionally, even if the person being held hostage is the ultimatum giver. Once you’ve gotten to the ultimatum point, the relationship is likely on borrowed time.

Finally there is Superstition: this is the one reason some men use and it’s based on the notion that Valentine’s Day commitments, proposals and such are bad luck. Now, that being said, it’s easy to have serious regrets about saying “yes” in the hoopla of the day. It’s even more common for a woman to not want to let her man down by saying no to that diamond ring. Many relationships which escalate on this day often fail down the road, so many men are skeptical about the validity of proposing in any way on Valentine’s Day.

Some of us just won’t be good commitment material, and sometimes it’s a matter of feeling “they can do it, why can’t I?”  We’ve all been there, and some of us grow out of it faster than others.  So ladies, cut your man a small break if he’s unable to commit.  Let him tell you in his way, in his time but, be aware, some men really aren’t ready to take that big leap. Be kind, compassionate and loving, but firm. Don’t let him hold you hostage, but don’t hold him hostage either. Compassion and love goes far further than demands and frustration, and the commitment which can result may be the best thing you’ve ever known.

Some Valentine’s Day tips for both men and women

wpid-MyFaves_Love_Heart.jpg

Speaking from the experience of almost 18 years (granted, not always on my best behavior) of marriage, I would like to offer guys getting ready for the Day of Hearts (or Valentine’s Day) some advice for how to make it memorable, fun and, if you really have a great relationship, passionate as can be.

For the sake of editorial expediency, I will use the common “him” and “her,” but feel free to infer for same-sex couples as well.

Buying a massage is great, but offer to give one of your own.  There is nothing more intimate, more bonding, than the feeling of the hands of one’s lover along your body.  The relaxation this generates is beyond comparison.  The massage need not be powerful, not the sort of deep tissue massage offered by professionals.  A simple gentle touch gets the job done with the same effectiveness.  Enhance the mood with massage oils or body lotions, and candles help too!

If you can’t cook, ordering out is acceptable, but make a nice place setting.  Not everyone has an inner chef screaming to burst forth.  Some people can genuinely burn water.  Still, don’t let that dissuade you from creating at least the illusion of “home cooked” meal.  If you have to order out, do it, but set a nice place setting.  Believe it or not, a simple dinner of mac and cheese with a nice glass of wine and swanky place setting sometimes beats a dinner at a five-star restaurant.

Face it – you aren’t Christian Grey, so don’t bother trying.  Just be yourself.  Trying to be a billionaire wannabe, or a celebrity impersonator, only works if your beloved wants to try out some crazy fantasy.  Rather than trying to make yourself look like Donald Trump or Oprah, just be you.  Dress nice, dress simple, and be classy.  Manners are everything.

Jewelry is all about taste – know the recipient.  Guessing is dangerous, assuming more so.  Don’t guess on your lover’s tastes in jewelry, accessories, etc.  If they have a particular designer they love, aim that way.  If they have particular style which catches their fancy, keep your eyes focused there.  Ask them what they want – you might be surprised how much listening means more than any shiny trinket.

Valentine Day proposals can be the stuff of presentation, as well as breakup, legends.  Yes, Valentine’s Day is romantic, emotional, and fun.  It can be a wild whirlwind for new love, and that alone is the number one reason who it’s the worst possible day to pop the question.  A great day to pop the question is Monday in the evening.  Why?  Simple – Monday is usually the lousiest day of the week for anyone.  If they say “yes” on Monday, it’s likely to last because you asked at the worst possible time.  Valentine’s Day, by comparison, is the day where if your lover says “no,” they look a coldhearted, heartbreaking douche.

If you can’t afford the do anything for Valentine’s Day, keep it simple.  So many couples spend hundreds, even thousands, on a perfect Valentine’s Day.  This is usually followed by fights over money, who spent what, who didn’t think ahead with an eye to the future, etc.  Don’t break the bank showing you love someone.  If that is what’s needed to win the heart, it may be a relationship worth reconsidering.  Nobody should have to buy anyone’s affections.

And finally, one tip which I keep close to my heart every year…

The most romantic things really are free.  A quiet walk, singing together in the shower, playing together with pets, cooking together, and even balancing your checkbook can be fun and romantic if you really want to make them so.  Nobody ever said a relationship is automatic; it takes a lot of dedication and work, and even more listening (we men need a remedial on that one).  If you want to demonstrate affection for your beloved, consider doing something which doesn’t cost, but instead pays off with a feeling of closeness and trust in one another.

I’m not expert, nor am I a saint or guru.  What I am is a very flawed man, whose hope is this can be of help to some people with no idea how to pull off a memorable Valentine’s Day.   So, the flowers are a nice touch, so are the chocolates, but what our lovers really want is simple – an ear to bend, loving eyes to see, and the touch of someone they trust who loves then unconditionally.  After all, unconditional love is the greatest gift we can give each other on this Day of Hearts.